Today's rating action reflects the recent deterioration of Portugal's public finances as well as the economy's long-term growth challenges. "The review for possible downgrade will consider a repositioning of Portugal's ratings to reflect the potentially lasting deterioration in the government's debt metrics," says Anthony Thomas, Vice President-Senior Analyst in Moody's Sovereign Risk Group. "In the context of a small and slow-growing economy, such debt metrics may no longer be consistent with a Aa2 rating."
The weakening of Portugal's public finance position reflects the failure of successive administrations to consistently limit government budget deficits since Portugal joined the eurozone at its inception. "More recently, however, the government's has reiterated its objective to achieve or even surpass the deficit reduction targets published in its latest Stability and Growth Programme," says Mr. Thomas. "The well-structured debt profile means that refinancing risks are modest."
Greek 2 Year Yields 20 Percent, Italy Up 6 Basis Points, Portugal Up 7 Basis Points, Spain Up 27 Basis PointsSubmitted by George Washington on 04/28/2010 11:52 -0400
Not just Greece ...
S&P just cut its long-term ratings on Portugal to 'A-' from 'A+' and the short-term ratings to 'A-2' from 'A-1'. Euro plunges on the news even as market is aggressively trying to rerisk during the Goldman hearing.
Greece 5y CDS now at a meaningless 762bps, which is the highest non-upfront CDS spread for any sovereign. This alone should be enough for another monster day in the decoupled algo-driven US markets. And Portugal is now where Greece was just a few weeks ago: its own CDS just hit 350 bps (40 wider), as its 10 spread widens by 17 bps to 235 bps. While the Greek negative basis is still about 250 bps, Portugal is still less pronounced. We expect the Portuguese basis to hit negative territory soon. According to CMA the biggest wideners are all Spanishand Portuguese entities: Enel SpA at 137.07(+16.04), Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena SpA (SUB) at 215.22 (+23.25), Banco Popolare SC at 164.46 (+15.67), Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena SpA at 122.64 (+10.82). As for Greece, it's too late: Germany says country may have to leave the Eurozone, as we suspected was Germany's intention all along.
All hell is breaking loose in Europe on the just released EuroStat report which presents an "objective" look at various countries' realistic debt and budget deficit pictures sans governmental propaganda and lies. And while Greece is getting pounded for good reason, another country where the discrepancy between estimates and reality was even worse is Portgual, whose deficit EuroStat disclosed at -9.4%, on expectations of a -8% number. In the meantime Goldman is reaping a veritable bonanza trading 1 Year Greek CDS (which is at 900 bps) which now has a 200 bps bid/ask spread! Other entities getting bushwhacked as a result include Ireland, which is 23 wider at 173 bps (nothing flattering about the Irish in the EuroStat report either), and Banco Comercial Portugues SA which is 38 bps wider to 297. PIIGS are officially in freefall after the truth has finally set them free.
If CDS Traders Are Right, France Is Next Up For A Sovereign Shakedown (As Are Spain And Portugal); Greece Long ForgottenSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 04/17/2010 23:43 -0400
CDS traders were prescient in snapping up Greek and Dubai CDS long before anyone else realized the risk these countries are in (well, more like Goldman selling CDS to some very close clients, wink wink). In exchange for figuring out what it took cash bond holders months to understand, these 'speculators' made a lot of money and in the process got branded as quasi-sovereign terrorists. Well, Greece can sleep well: according to the latest DTCC CDS data (for the week ended April 9), CDS specs have completely deserted Greece, which saw the single biggest amount of Net Notional CDS decrease, to just over $8 billion, a reduction of $367 million in the prior week (which means all the widening in Greek spreads is now, and has been, just cash bond sales, precisely what Zero Hedge has claimed all along). CDS traders are now focusing their attention on the one country which has so far slipped under everyone's radar, yet which we disclosed is more on the hook in terms of Southern European exposure than even Germany: France, with $781 billion in total claims. Should Greece topple the PIIGS dominoes, France will implode. And this is precisely what CDS traders are betting on now, taking advantage of absurdly tight France CDS levels. Also, just in case they are wrong on France, Spain and Portugal, not surprisingly, round out the top three names in which Net Notional saw the largest increase. Also not surprisingly, Japan rounds out the top 5 deriskers.
The rumors yesterday about a Portuguese downgrade ended up being true, courtesy of Fitch. Portugal to Bund spread widens 4 bps to 125bps, all European spreads wider also as a result.Euro dumped and breaks 1.35 support, last seen in mid 1.33 range.
Yet more countries are anticipating the Fed finally killing the dollar sooner or later, as Spain now joins Portugal in issuing dollar-denominated bonds. If Europe's most insolvent countries (granted, Greece has yet to issue $-denominated debt, although we are confident that will happen shortly as well) are getting on board of the asset side of the Fed's balance sheet, it can only mean one thing: the InTrade odds for the winner of the currency race to the bottom are squarely in favor of the US currency. Earlier, the Spanish director of Treasury and financial policy Soledad Nunez, told reporters that Spain may issue a dollar bond via syndication. In a page right out of Greenspan's dictionary Soledad said: ""Usually we syndicate in dollars, and we have not made one yet this year, and we may do so, maybe yes, maybe no. That is the answer." She added in Alan-speak: "Doing a dollar syndication is always in our strategy, it is always depending on market conditions." Translation: we bet that, at the end of the day, Ben Bernanke will be far more successful in killing his own currency, than those bumbling buffoons over in Luxembourg.
Yet more rape and pillaging of US taxpayers as Portugal now plans to join the long and exalted list of nearly bankrupt countries who wish to join the dollar devaluation bandwagon, and issue debt denominated in dollars. The P in PIIGS is in the same position as the US, needing to plug a massive budget deficit, so it has decided to do what the US does so well - issue bonds with a $ sign on them. Bloomberg reports: "Portugal is selling bonds in dollars for the first time since November as part of a plan to issue 25 percent more debt this year to fund its budget deficit. The nation is marketing $1 billion of five-year bonds that may be priced to yield about 100 basis points more than the benchmark mid-swap rate." And this is merely the beginning: as most European countries are convinced the pain in Spain is nothing compared to what Washington is about to experience, we expect to see many more deficit whores attempting to jump on the dollar collapse bandwagon.
Portugal Prices €3 Billion 10 Year Bond At 99.841, 4.823% Yield, 140 bps Over Swaps, 163.7 bps Over 2020 BundSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 02/10/2010 12:18 -0400
Portugal has managed to price the much anticipated €3 billion 10 Year bond.
- Price: 99.841
- Yield: 4.823%
- Coupon 4.80%
- 140 bps over Swaps
- 163.7 bps over 10 Year Bund
- Ratings Aa2/A+ (ha ha ha ha)
Portugal's 9.3% budget deficit is about to get a whole lot worse. A proposed Law of Regional Finances, which was approved yesterday by a parliamentary committee, which would increase funds sent to Portugal's Madeira and Azores regions by €50 million, and keep rising until it hits €86 million by 2013, was just ratified into law by the Portuguese parliament. This is precisely what the Finance Minister had been dreading.
Portugal Bund Spreads Even Wider Following Substantially Reduced Bill Auction And Much Higher Auction Yield, CDS Hits RecordSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 02/03/2010 11:34 -0400
Europe bailout tracker update: Portugal edition. Hey Almunia, is there anything to be concerned about in Portugal? We thought so... The country's 10 year spread is now 18 bps wider to 147 bps after the country just had an almost failed BILL (12 months) auction. The country had previously announced an indicative offer of €500 million in 12 month bill to be auctioned. The result- a sale of just €300 million at yields over 50 bps higher compared to just two weeks ago. Oh, forget Greece, Portugal CDS is now trading at record wides.
Never a boring day for Joaquin Almunia. Over the past two weeks, the commissioner has been busy trying to persuade anyone who is willing to listen that not only would Greece not be bailed out, not only would the country somehow reconcile its 140%+ Debt/GDP ratio and record budget deficit in order without a civil war, not only are various €40 billion GGB certificates popping up all over the price irrelevant in the grand scheme of things, but that the EMU is actually a viable concept, long after anyone who does not believe in the tooth fairy realize that it is only a matter of time before fallout in the periphery tears the Union apart. And highlighting the amount of tragicomedy in Europe's "connected vessels" alchemy-risk experiment is the symbiosis among PIIGS risk: indeed, as Greece Bund spreads have tightened by 10 bps to 343 bps, those of Portugal have widened by a much greater proportional level, and are now 15bps wider at 144 bps. Europe is now one big, cracking dam, holding back a toxic surge of mismarked securities, and a scurrying Almunia is using each and every available finger to plug the PIIGS holes. We wish him all the luck in the world.
Well, can't say we didnt see it coming. Portugal was downgraded with impunity by S&P from AA- to A+ on the belief that "the government's structural reform measures relating to the economy and public finances have proven insufficient to bring about convergence with the 'AA' peer group." And what a high quality peer group it is.